While insisting that Max Scherzer was lifted in the fourth inning on Saturday night as a precaution after suffering a cramp in his right hamstring, veteran skipper Dusty Baker did tell reporters after the game that the Washington Nationals’ 33-year-old ace would get an MRI.
Scherzer, because he did go to get an MRI, was unavailable to talk after last night’s game, but he did meet with reporters before this afternoon’s regular season finale.
“Last night there in the fourth, I tweaked my hammy,” Scherzer explained.
“They wanted me to get an MRI, went there, got an MRI, showed exactly what we thought, nothing major, more of a tool to help [know] how we needed to treat it.
“We’ve got a pretty good idea of what we need to be able to do to get back out there.
“The good news thing about it is I can walk and run around on this, it’s not like a major strain or anything where that’s debilitating, so I’m pretty upbeat and positive about going forward here.”
Scherzer wasn’t, however, willing to say he’ll definitely be ready for Game 1 or 2 at this point.
“That’s tough to say right now,” he acknowledged.
“We’re not even 24 hours out. We’re still trying to get all the doctors to take a look at this and make sure we have the absolute correct diagnosis, but we have a really, really good idea of what we’ve got here.”
Baker said last night, and Scherzer confirmed today, that if it had been a postseason game, he would have kept going against the Pirates.
“Oh, yeah. I wouldn’t have come out if that was a playoff game. It was just something that I couldn’t take a chance of going any farther now that I felt that tweak.
“There’s nothing good that could come out [of] continuing to pitch there.”
And the Nationals’ manager and ace also agreed that before the injury, Scherzer was looking sharp.
“He was on,” Baker said Saturday night. “He was electric. And so, yeah, I mean he was vintage Max all the way. He was throwing the ball great.”
“That’s kind of what’s going to get lost in all this,” Scherzer said today. “Last night I felt like I was really sharp. Actually, in that game, I was executing with all my pitches. Slider, cutter, curveball, change, I felt like I was on top of that, and moving the fastball around as well, so really from a stuff standpoint, I was really, really happy with where — I’ve been working so hard to get back to that point of being able to execute all the pitches, and I really felt like last night I was, it just stinks that I came up a little short.”
After Sunday’s regular season finale, Baker was asked if, after the diagnosis, he thought Scherzer’s hamstring issue would affect how he sets up the rotation.
“Probably,” Baker said, “but he’s going to be fine, it’s just a matter of when we’ve got to determine when that when is.”